Dust Falling 2008

Dust Falling 2008

Performed at Heart of Glass, a part of Concrete and Glass Festival, Shoreditch Town Hall, October 2008.

Mixed media installation and live performance: Approx. 2 hours.
Photography: Isambard Poulson.
Assistants: Aileen Harvey and Helena Bryant

Originally conceived as a single photograph, Dust Falling was inspired by Robert Shapazian writing on Man Ray's Dust Breeding, a long exposure of settled dust on Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare By her Bachelor's, Even, in The Art of Photography, 1839-1989, in which he describes how the image came about.

There is a figure lying beneath a large archaeological sieve. In the tray of the sieve is a landscape: a desert plain or mountain range. The landscape is not stable, and neither is the sieve, which now and again moves. The landscape is composed of dust, of tiny particles of pulverised matter. It appears to be poised in form but is ever so slowly collapsing, dismantling, deforming…and falling through the holes of the sieve. As the dust passes through space it hangs in the air like a flutter of snowflakes. Eventually gravity prevails, and the dust settles over the surface of the body beneath coating it in a thin film. Over the course of the performance, the film builds up as the landscape from above is transferred beneath. The body is enveloped, engulfed by the dust. The dust merges with the skin, enters the pores. The body itself is dissolving into dust. The performance lasts for approximately two and a half hours.

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